Guardian Force Leveling and Junctions
Tips and Tricks

There are a number of important things to know about your Guardian Forces if you are new to Final Fantasy VIII:

  • Your Guardian Forces level just like your characters do.
  • Your Guardian Forces also earn Ability Points (refer to the Ability Points section).
  • Your Guardian Forces can learn Junction Abilities to help power up your characters.
  • Your Guardian Forces need to be compatible with the character that they are equipped to if you plan to summon them.

This page is focused on items 1, 3 and 4 whereas item 2 is covered in its respective tips and tricks section.

A GF will level us as it gains experience (EXP)

Leveling Your GFs

Guardian Forces level up in just the same way that your characters do and you probably already know this from having seen the ‘level up’ messages as the end of some of your battles.

The experience that a GF gains is the same as the amount that the character they are junctioned received, however that experience is split between all of the Guardian Forces that are equipped to that character.

In other words, if Squall were to gain 1000 EXP points at the end of the battle and had Quezacotl, Brothers, Cerberus and Tonberry junctioned to him, each of the Guardian Forces would receive 250 EXP.

As a result, it can seem like equipping more Guardian Forces to your characters would be a bad thing because it would cause them to level much slower, but generally the more GFs you equip to your characters the more powerful that character becomes.

Unless you plan to be summoning your Guardian Forces in battle a lot, which you really don’t need to, this will not cause much of an issue as you play through the game. The only point where it becomes helpful is if you want to focus on leveling one specific GF (which means you should equip just that one GF to a character).

Your Guardian Forces will earn both EXP and Ability Points (AP) at the end of a battle, but AP is covered more in depth on the page linked below:

Learning Junction Abilities

Each Guardian Force comes with a set list of abilities that it can learn as it gains Ability Points and some of these abilities are very important and very powerful. To be more specific, these abilities are called Junction Abilities and they allow the character that has junctioned the GF to now also junction magic to a particular character stat. The abilities that are available to be junctioned to and the magic that can be junctioned to them are outlined on the Magic Junction Guide page:

In addition to the Junction Abilities that a Guardian Force will automatically learn as it levels up, you can actually teach your Guardian Forces new abilities using powerful items that you procure as you make your way through the game. For the full list of items that can teach GFs new abilities, check out the page below:

Guardian Force Compatibility

The last important thing to know about your Guardian Forces has to do with their compatibility with the character to which they have been junctioned. The compatibility of your Guardian Forces can be seen when you pull up the menu screen, select “GF” and then select a specific GF (located on the right side of the screen).

There is a delay (“charge time”) when you go to summon your Guardian Forces in battle. This delay can be minimized through because the higher the compatibility score between the GF/character the more quickly that your character will be able to complete the summon.

While summoning a Guardian Force, that GF will absorb any of the hits applied to the character and, if facing a stronger opponent, there is a chance that your GF will be KO’d before it is summoned, which makes compatibility an important stat if you plan to use your GFs in battle.

Compatibility showing for Quezacotl Guardian Force

The methods for raising your GF compatibility are as follows:

  • Summoning the GF in battle.
  • Having the character cast magic that is the same element as the GF (casting the opposite will reduce compatibility)
  • Summoning Eden will cause other junctioned GFs to raise their compatibility slightly.
  • Using GF Recovert items will slightly raise compatibility as well.

This stat is actually fairly painful to try and boost up, and because the charge time for most Guardian Forces is fairly negligible, boosting compatibility is not generally considered something worth pursuing.